NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgia Tech vs. Florida State

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, March 2, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 5:00 AM UTC

The Florida State Seminoles have been off a week since perhaps their biggest win of the season, and they turn up as big home favorites over Georgia Tech on Sunday.

The double-digit favorite could possibly be overvalued Sunday evening when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-15, 4-6 away) pay a visit to those Florida State Seminoles (16-11, 8-4 home) at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, FL at 6:00 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Georgia Tech as a large underdog for this contest with the current line at +10 with odds of -106.

Florida State may still be on the NCAA Tournament bubble, but the Seminoles may have gone a long toward getting off that bubble by going on the road last Sunday and upsetting Pittsburgh 71-66 as 9½-point underdogs. But then again, we are not sure having an entire week off after such a huge win is the best thing for the Seminoles, especially with them now being the team turning up as a big favorite over a seemingly lesser opponent.

Yes, Georgia Tech has lost five of its last six games to fall to 13-15 overall and a mere 4-11 in the ACC, but two of those four conference wins did come on the road at Wake Forest and Boston College and the Yellow Jackets just missed a third conference road win in a covering 65-62 loss at Notre Dame on Wednesday, so they are a team that can sneak up on you if you take them too lightly.

Florida State is a very good defensive team and that defense can usually keep the Noles in the game when the offense has a sub-par performance, which has happened quite a bit this season. In fact the Seminoles are 17th in the country in effective field goal percentage allowed at 44.3 percent and an impressive 10th in two-point defense at 42.2 percent, while also allowing just a 32.5 percent success rate from beyond the three-point arc.

But while that defense usually makes Florida State attractive as an underdog, the Noles are often vulnerable as big favorites like they are today because of an offense that is eighth in the ACC during conference games in efficiency. The main reason that Florida State is so inefficient is because it does not have a true point guard, usually playing the 6-foot-7 Montay Brandon out of position in that spot.

As a result, Florida State is ranked a dismal 314th in the country in offensive turnover percentage at a poor 20.9 percent compared to a national average of 18.4 percent, and the Noles are dead last in the ACC in that department during conference games.

Now Georgia Tech has lost three straight games for the first tine all season to with the loss to Clemson two games ago putting it below .500 for the first time all year. This is not a team totally lacking in talent, but leading scorer Trae Golden was held scoreless at Notre Dame. That is not a feat that figures to be duplicated tonight and the Yellow Jacket can also hang in on the defensive end.

That is not only because of the propensity of Florida State to turn the ball over but also because Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller is amazingly blocking 2.4 shots per game to rank second in the ACC in that area, and remember that none of the Noles’ heavy rotation players are taller than 6-foot-8. Yes Florida State has two seven-footers in more limited roles in Michael Ojo and Boris Bojanovsky, but if those players get extended minutes it would hurt the offense.

With all of this in mind, Georgia Tech getting double-digits seems to provide nice value on Sunday.


NCAA Basketball Pick: Georgia Tech +10 (-106)

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